The Tumblers barely make a blip on Internet search engines, but they should be on any alt-country lover's radar. Frontmen T.C. Gaston and Dean Gorman alternate between sounding like Johnny Paycheck and Robbie Fulks, and the effect is charming: In one band you get self-deprecation on the brink of hysteria, plus tough-guy rebelliousness with a big helping of self-destructiveness. Ah, the best kind of country!
Despite its black metal sounding name, The Tumblers' new album, The Earth Shall Become My Throne, covers heartbreak, depression, drunkenness and revenge, just for starters. Songs like "If You Find Me Hanging" and the title track where the first line is, "Take a picture, it'll last longer than me," serve up new lines with the same dark humor and word play that greats like George Jones and Paycheck always did. With the addition of a pedal steel, these tunes already sound like classics.
Other songs are less about one-liners and punch lines. "I Wish I Was More Fun" sounds like a downer, but it's one of the sunnier songs on the album, like when the band sings, "The world is over, but I think I might just stay." I hope they do.
The Tumblers play the Palace Wednesday, July 14, at 9 PM with Raina Rose Trio and Dave McGraw and Crow Wing. $5.